Restore your computer using Windows System Restore - Windows XP

Posted by Muhammed Posted on Friday, February 24, 2012

System restore is an inbuilt system tool in windows to restore the computer to previous state where computer works fine. It helps to restore critical system files and some program files and registry settings. It can also change scripts, batch files, and other kinds of executable files on your computer. You should have active restore point on your computer to use this functionality. By default windows create restore points if there is any critical update done on the computer like add or remove any application program.  If your computer is not functioning correctly, you can use these restore points to return Windows XP to a previous state when your computer was functioning correctly.
This article describes how to use the System Restore tool restore your computer to a previous state. To perform the System Restore, you must be logged on to Windows as an administrator.
To open the utility, go to your System Tools and open System Restore (Start->All Programs->Accessories->System Tools->System Restore)

Create Restore Point Manually

If you would like to save the state that computer works fine, you can create system restore points manually and this can be use to restore your computer in case something goes wrong in the future.

1. To create a manual restore point, open the System Restore utility and select the radio button labeled "Create a restore point" and press the Next button.

2. At this point you should name the restore point for the future reference. The current date and time will automatically be appended to the name you choose. When you are done, press the Create button.System restore will create the restore point and give you a confirmation screen. At this point you can press the Close button to close the System Restore utility.

Restore the computer

To restore Windows XP to a previous restore point you need to open the System Restore Utility. 
You should select the radio button that is labeled "Restore my computer to an earlier time. When that is selected press the Next button.

At this point you should select a restore point that you would like to restore. If a particular day has any restore points created on it the date will be in bold. You can then select the restore point by clicking once on its name and then pressing the Next button.
At this point you will get a prompt with a confirmation as to whether or not you want to continue. If you do want to continue, you should press the Next button again, otherwise press cancel. System restore will then shut down all open applications and reboot the computer.

After the computer is rebooted you will get a screen says that  the restoration to the restore point is complete.
If there are any problems with your computer since you restored to this restore point, you can revert back to your previous settings by going back into the System Restore Utility and selecting the "Undo my last restoration" radio button and pressing the Next button.

Restore the computer from the command prompt

1. Boot your computer in safe mode with command prompt using the function key F8
2. Use the arrow keys to select the Safe mode with a Command prompt option.
3. If you are prompted to select an operating system, use the arrow keys to select the appropriate operating system for your computer, and then press ENTER.
4. Log on as an administrator or with an account that has administrator credentials.
5. At the command prompt, type %systemroot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe, and then press ENTER.
6. Follow the instructions that appear on the screen to restore your computer to a functional state.

Delete Restore points

There are different ways to delete the restore points manually. The ways are discribed below.
Disk Cleanup - Launch the Disk Cleanup tool (Start->Run->Type command “cleanmgr”) and then select the more options tab. On this tab you will find a section for System Restore. If you press the Clean Up button for that section, Windows will delete all restore points except for the most recent one.

Turn off System Restore - Just by turning off System Restore all your restore points will be deleted.
Enable or Disable System Restore point
By default system restore is enabled on Windows XP machines. To Enable or Disable System Restore point, you should open System Properties (Run the command sysdm.cpl) and System Restore tab, then put  a tick mark on Turn off System Restore and Apply to disable the system restore. To enable it back uncheck the box Turn off System Restore and Apply.